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Ice cream vendor gets tasty deal with Walmart

BY CSA STAFF

PHILADELPHIA — Walmart is adding Mini Melts ice cream automated kiosks to its stores.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to serve Walmart customers throughout the United States, by not only providing a premium ice cream product, but by doing so consistently with Walmart’s low-price philosophy," said Dan Kilcoyne, president of Mini Melts USA.

Mini Melts ice cream is a brand of "beaded" ice cream sold at such places as theme parks and shopping centers. The ice cream is manufactured with a patented flash freeze process using liquid nitrogen.

The automated kiosks will be manufactured exclusively by Fastcorp, a Danbry, Conn.-based company. "Our automated kiosks provide superior merchandising and they are the most energy efficient and reliable kiosks on the market. We are thrilled to be part of this program with two exceptional companies, Walmart and Mini Melts," said Todd Piatnik, president of Fastcorp.

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Edy’s looks to ‘Outshine’ competition

BY CSA STAFF

Launching this month at retailers nationwide is a new line of Edy’s fruit bars called Outshine.

Nestlé Dreyers Ice Cream Company, parent of the Edy’s brand, will apply the Outshine brand to six existing flavors under the Edy’s Fruit Bars name and add six new flavors. One of the flavors the company is most excited about is coconut water.

"The popularity of coconut water has exploded with more than 23 million U.S. consumers enjoying coconut water-based beverages. By blending delicious young coconut water with refreshing fruit, we’ve created a totally invigorating snack for coconut lovers everywhere," said Kerry Hopkins , Outshine brand manager. "We are delighted to offer new frozen snacks made with fruit and juice and, like our consumers, we promise to always be picky about what we put in our products."

New flavors include coconut water with banana and coconut water with pineapple. Each will have 60 calories and contain no fat or dairy.

"We are delighted to offer a range of frozen snacks that appeal to the ‘shine brighter’ sentiment of our consumers and how they approach life," Hopkins said. "The deliciously refreshing new flavors are a small taste of what you can expect from the Outshine brand."

Plans also call for the introduction of Limited Edition Seasonal Picks inspired by the farmer’s market, which include raspberry and peach flavors (available February through August) and grapefruit and blood orange flavors (available September through December).  

In addition to the new flavors, the Outshine brand includes existing Edy’s Fruit Bars flavors such as acai blueberry, creamy coconut, grape, lemon, lime, mango, pineapple, pomegranate, strawberry and tangerine.

The Edy’s brand is manufactured and marketed by the Nestlé Dreyer’s Ice Cream Company, which is part of Nestlé USA, and is owned by Nestlé S.A. of Switzerland.

 

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American Greetings to go private

BY CSA STAFF

CLEVELAND — American Greetings announced that it has agreed to be taken private by a group led by some of its top executives for about $602 million.

The executive group was formed by the Weiss family — including chairman Morry Weiss; CEO Zev Weiss; director, president and COO Jeffrey Weiss and others — and will buy the shares of the company they don’t already own for $18.20 a piece in cash. This amounts to a 13% premium to American Greetings’ closing price of $16.10 last Thursday.

The Weiss family initially offered to buy the Cleveland company in September for $17.18 per share.

"The family believes the transaction is a win for all concerned, including public shareholders," stated CEO Zev Weiss. "The negotiations with the Special Committee and its advisors were vigorous and arm’s length, but we’re pleased that we were able to come to an agreement that properly respects all parties’ interests."

The entire deal is valued at $878 million including assumed debt and a dividend, the company estimates.

In addition to its namesake brand, American Greetings, which sells greetings cards and gifts, the company also owns Carlton Cards, Recycled Paper Greetings and Papyrus.

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